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Few people come out of school or university actively pursuing a career in internal communication. IoIC is hoping to shift the narrative in the education sector by engaging with students and young people who are making decisions about their future career.

IoIC’s #IChoseIC campaign aims to create a sustainable and highly skilled profession by showing students, and those who influence and support them in their decisions, that internal comms is a rewarding career.

Sarah Magee, professional development manager at IoIC, says: “We want people to enter internal communication having actively thought this is what they want to do, and to have an awareness of the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful in that career.”

Raising awareness of a brilliant career

In schools, there is a statutory requirement to deliver careers education that meets the Gatsby Benchmarks guidance. This includes addressing the needs of each pupil; providing opportunities to learn from employers; offering first-hand experiences of the workplace; and providing access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities.

However, much of the guidance that students receive when it comes to careers education focuses on traditional career options, meaning students aren’t always aware of IC as a career of choice.

“Careers advisers are going to be talking to students about well-known professions, such as law and journalism,” says Sarah. “IC isn’t always perceived as a distinct discipline. If we can have an impact on how internal communication is seen by the people delivering that education to students, it will have a knock-on effect with those making decisions about their career. They might enter thinking, yes, this is a brilliant career – which, of course, is how we know people feel when they discover internal comms.”

Over the past year, IoIC has been engaging with universities’ employer engagement teams, which typically work with businesses looking to hire graduates. IoIC representatives have spoken at events and sessions about the role of IC.

IoIC has launched an Ambassador programme and is seeking internal communicators who can support IoIC in spreading the #IChoseIC message by, for example, becoming a mentor to a student and/or speaking at events or career sessions about the profession.

These ambassadors will be listed on the IoIC website with their areas of interest and support. They will also be provided with branding for their email signature and LinkedIn profiles.

This year, IoIC is continuing to raise awareness. It has registered with a charity called Inspiring The Future, which supports people to explore different career options and is where organisations and individuals can register to speak to students about their expertise. Sarah and the IoIC team will continue to engage with educational institutions, but also directly with the corporate world.

“We don’t want to perpetuate the belief that you cannot enter the profession without a degree qualification,” says Sarah.

“Our responsibility as a profession is to make sure there are opportunities for people to enter IC. We are planning a complementary campaign to encourage companies to offer job shadowing, internships and work experience. We will then list organisations on our website that offer these opportunities.”

Student membership – a new offering

In April, IoIC launches student membership for individuals or for groups of university students on comms-related courses. For a reduced rate of £30, students will have access to selected non-printed membership benefits, such as online content and discounts on courses.

In addition, student members will:
•     be added to IoIC’s FutureNet network
•     have access to a mentor
•     have an IoIC student member badge, showing their commitment to an internal comms career
•     have access to a closed student area on the soon-to-launch IoIC community.

By bringing people actively into the profession and giving them the option to study with an IC career in mind, they will be off to a running start, already equipped with the  knowledge and skills they need.

“We’ll have a diverse pipeline of people entering the profession, and that will have an impact on the standards and perception of IC,” concludes Sarah. “And that will result in an improvement on people’s working lives, on business performance and on society.”


#IChoseIC: How you can help

Even if you didn’t choose a career in IC, you can help others make a choice to enter the profession.

• Become an #IChoseIC ambassador – contact IoIC.
• Contact the college or university you attended or those local to you. Ask for opportunities to speak at events about the rewards of working in internal communication, or help IoIC make connections at those institutions.
• Tell students about IoIC student membership.
• Write a blog about how you chose a career in IC. You can read previous stories by searching #IChoseIC on the homepage of ioic.org.uk.
• Register on the Inspiring The Future platform (inspiringthefuture.org) and offer to speak about your career in IC.

For more info or to become an #IChoseIC ambassador, email [email protected]


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